Wolves Get Overheated, For The Good!

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Welcome to the playoff chase, Minnesota. You have officially arrived.

The Timberwolves still have plenty of work to do if they want in on the NBA’s postseason party. The dream is fading. But they are not completely out of it yet and they are on the right path.

When your stars go after each other on the sideline before, during or after an ugly showing against a lesser opponent, you have the makings of a team that is serious about making some noise in the playoff hunt.

Timberwolves All-Star Kevin Love and point guard J.J. Barea, who collected his ring while with the Mavericks last season, got into a dust-up on the bench during a timeout in a game they would eventually lose to the Kings (see a little of the argument at about the 2-minute mark in the clip above).

Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune provides the details. We’re not talking Thrilla in Manila stuff here, but there was definitely some chest-puffing going on (this blow-by-blow from Steve McPherson is worth a look):

Barea stepped toward Love while the two exchanged words and Love rose from his seat on the bench until Luke Ridnour ushered Barea away and Martell Webster did the same with Love.

By then, the Wolves’ third consecutive loss was all but assured, six days after they began this seven-game, 13-day road trip with a victory at Phoenix.

Love and Barea both put the same name to an afternoon when they briefly turned on each other. Meanwhile, the struggling Kings ran away to a 20-point fourth-quarter lead and a 115-point total two days after they put 120 points on the scoreboard and beat the Boston Celtics by 25.

“Frustration,” Barea said.

Barea called the afternoon’s outcome “terrible, worst loss of the year if you want to put it timingwise” after the Wolves committed 21 turnovers and acquiesced in a fourth quarter when they gave up the good fight, after losing in overtime at Utah on Thursday and remaining respectable against the Lakers on Friday.

“Part of the game, competitors trying to win,” Barea said. “We’re frustrated that we’re losing, but it happens, every basketball team. We just got into it. It’s all right. He said something I didn’t like, I said it back and we’re all good. Nothing against him.”

This is one of those instances when a little overheating is for the greater good. The Timberwolves need to get upset. They are letting a playoff opportunity slip away with their recent play (losing three straight and going 4-6 in their last 10 games).

It’s rare that we would argue for this sort of public display of discontent between teammates, and we’re glad Love and Barea didn’t drag their temporary temper tantrums off the court.

But they are right to care enough to go at each other a little bit. Desperate times call for desperate measures, fellas.


  1. ANGELLUISmejuto says:

    Rubio hacía mejores a sus compañeros de lo que realmente son. Sin él se pasearán sin pena ni gloria por las canchas hasta que termine la temporada y el año que viene Dios dirá.

  2. Devon says:

    Woves will make another good run for the playoffs starting tonight with Golden State.

  3. boybolitaslakititi says:

    barea said dont be selfish with the ball past it to the free player for them to shoot..then love say im a star player here so what ever i want to shoot the ball its ok……hahaha

  4. Vlad(Canada) says:

    It’s unfortunate what happened to Barea and Love…but, this is what their season looks like so far. I am not a statstishan, and usually don’t care much about stats, but I would love to know how many games did Wolves lose with 2-points or less (and how many they lost in overtime). I bet had they won these games their record would have been as good as San Antonio’s right now.
    This team has one of the worse rosters in the game. With exception to Love, there is really noone who is even considered to be a star in the league (not yet anyway). Yes, the Wolves have players with lots of potential, but “potential” is not “production.” This team should not have a better record than the Golden State, Portland, Sacramento, Washington, Detroit, and New Jersay. Truly, the only team that has a worse roster is New Orleans. Rick Adelman is amazing coach!!! End of story.
    P.S. Had Minnesota made the trade for Crowford/Fisher (as proposed) they would have probably made it to the post season. Even next year, if they don’t have at least one more star player (like Love), the Wolves will have to rely on Adelman’s IQ.

  5. John says:

    Barea better watch out if he falls down, Kevin Love might step on his head. hahaha!

  6. Lakers R Us says:

    @prix! What an idiotic remark! And tell me; how exactly are the Lakers to blame for this! How do you dome to such a ridiculous conclusion? You are gonna blame a team because a player got injured! Just keep bringing that negative karma to your team with your remarks!

  7. Jim says:

    Are u kidding me? Wolves are not going to get for sure the playoffs without Rubio.
    Rubio is an unique player, not only a good player but a very special player, one in a millon who alway play for the rest of the team, not selfish at all, which i consider a very special gift nowadays.

  8. People thought I was crazy when I predicted MN heading.to the playoffs this season

  9. Yeaahhh says:

    barea its a playoffs player , and a good team player ,

  10. TeamFan not Playerfan says:

    Really was rooting for the wolves to make some noise this post-season because they have been dirt for so long. Although, without Rubio they will have to wait till next year.

  11. charles says:

    What exactly is Wes Johnson contributing as a starter???? Beasley and Williams would be better here.

  12. Belizeboy says:

    I just want to know what was said between the two.

  13. Jose says:

    Very optimistic conclusions out of this incident! I hope it is for good too!

  14. Someone says:

    oh so that one is no big deal…when Durant and Westbrook were yelling at each other you made it sound like the end of the world

    PS. whoever blames the Lakers for Rubio’s injury desperately needs to get a life

    • Amitpal says:

      Yeah, to me Kevin and Russell seem like bestfriends and I see a Jordan and pippen thing with these two, I don’t get why people say they don’t like each other. Sure Russell likes to shoot a lot but the thunder need him to do that, plus many people forget he was raised as a shooting guard not as a pointguard. I think Russell complements Durante pretty good.

  15. prix says:

    I think the Wolves will fall short this season…now that with out Rubio..blame it to the dirty play of the Lakers and now without Beastly…the talent are just too short and weak even the heart want to win…Lakers are really the to be blame with selfishness that always FAILED…

    • Unknown says:

      i agree that without rubio the team wont make it to the playoffs
      but what do you mean without Beasley? T wolves still have them

      • allaroundballer says:

        Rubio’s injury cost them but actually this season they got plenty talent, Pekovic, Ridnour and D. William are pretty good. Thy still have the chance, 7 or 8th place I think.
        And don’t blame Lakers, injury happens. That wasn’t really hard move by Kobe. Maybe there was something wrong with Rubio’s knee. If not that game, it could happen later.